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You love your plant babies. You water them with care, add fertilizer, make sure they are in the right amount of light, and maybe even talk and sing to them. But do you dust your plants?
You may not think it’s necessary to have shiny, dust-free flora in your home. But there’s actually a scientific reason to make sure your plant babies don’t get covered in too much grime (and that’s good reason to learn how to clean plant leaves properly!).
The leaves of your plants are what allow them to capture and convert sunlight into fuel for the plant through photosynthesis. If there’s a decent amount of dust on your plant leaves, that blocks sunlight and can stress your plant. Stressed plants can be more vulnerable to pests and other issues and may not grow as well.
Another reason to dust your plants (and your house) is that dust is an allergy trigger. Rid your house of it, and you’re less likely to have issues.
You’ll know it’s time to dust your plants when you run a finger across a leaf and come back with visible grime.
How To Clean Plant Leaves
One quick and easy way to get rid of dust and other dirt on your plants is to wash off the leaves under lukewarm running water when you are doing your regular soil watering. You can also spray the leaves down with a hose nozzle outside. Don’t use water that’s too hot or too cold and make sure to remove excess water from fronds. Some plants, like orchids, don’t love having any water on their fragile leaves.
But if you can’t move your plants very easily, or they aren’t outdoors, here are some other products that might help keep your plant babies looking their shiny best.
Miracle-Gro Leaf Shine ($5.22) is a water-based product with mineral oil that you spray directly on your plant leaves. Shake the bottle well and then spray an even mist across your plant to keep leaves clean. If your plant is particularly sooty, use a clean cloth to wipe the spray on each leaf.
While Miracle-Gro says its Leaf Shine won’t clog your plant’s “leaf pores,” be careful not to overdo the Leaf Shine or similar products. Too much of a coating on your plant leaves can also block photosynthesis. One top Amazon reviewer also recommends sticking to thicker leaf plants when using the Leaf Shine, such as “pothos, rubber plants, ivies, dracaena, parlor palm, and fiddle leaves.”
Facial wipes have become popular for cleaning your face. So it’s no surprise companies have come out with plant wipes. Southside Plants’ Plant Cleaning Wipes ($11.89) come in packs of 80 and are advertised as completely biodegradable and made from “renewable plant fibers.” They are infused with purified water, glycerin and cinnamon extract, the latter of which is good for deterring plant pests.
Amazon reviewers said they liked that the Southside Plants’ cleaning wipes are scentless and quick to use. But avoid trying them on spiny or fuzzy plants.
The Chapin hand sprayer ($15.69) can be loaded up with insecticide or just water to clean your plants. It has 901 ratings on Amazon with a 4.2-star average. Reviewers have suggested using this turned upside down for the most effective spraying technique.
Not all plant leaves will handle a blast of water or liquid product just fine. For plants with leaves that shouldn’t be wiped with anything wet, you can use dusters and brushes like the OXO Good Grips Microfiber Delicate Duster ($8.50). It has 9,425 ratings with a 4.5-star average on Amazon. While the duster isn’t specifically made for plants, it works well on delicate leaves like those on African violets. The heads on the OXO delicate duster are easy to remove and replace when they get worn out.
The Arum Indoor Plant Leaf Cleaner with three washcloths and three small bamboo brushes ($25.85) for especially delicate plants like those with fuzzy leaves. The bamboo washcloths are biodegradable, and the corn bristle plant brushes are sustainable.
Now that you know how to clean plant leaves, what do you think? Will you dust your plants?